A total of 18 Chinese Air Force planes have entered the island’s air defense zone, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry says
Taiwan has accused the Chinese military of a massive airstrike in the island’s air defense zone. A fleet of 18 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft, including two nuclear-capable H-6 aircraft, entered the zone on Friday, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said.
The nuclear bombers were joined by a Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, KJ-500 airborne warning and reconnaissance aircraft, as well as 12 J-11 and J-16 fighter jets.
The raid led to the scrambling of Taiwanese fighter jets and the activation of anti-aircraft missile systems “to monitor the activities” of the Chinese air fleet. However, the plane has not entered the airspace that Taiwan claims as its property. The Chinese military has so far been silent about the confrontation with the island’s military.
Beijing, which considers Taiwan an integral part of its territory under its ‘One China’ policy, has regularly flexed military muscles near the island, busting it with large aircraft units and sending warships. Taiwan has been self-governing since 1949, when remnants of the nationalist government fled the mainland after their defeat in the civil war, but never formally declared independence from China.
The island nation has remained a constant source of tension between Beijing and western countries, especially the US, which has long declared its commitment to protecting Taiwan. “independence”† Like most countries, the US has no formal diplomatic ties with Taipei, but works closely with the island. Beijing has repeatedly warned Washington not to forge ties with Taiwan, as it considers foreign activities around Taiwan a violation of the ‘One China’ principle and interference in its internal affairs.
Taiwan-US military cooperation has been affected by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, as Washington rushed to supply more weapons to Kiev. On Monday, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense admitted that Taipei’s $750 million order for 40 US-made howitzers was “overcrowded” of production lines, with the estimated delivery time shifting to 2026 at the earliest, rather than starting in 2023 as planned.
Taipei has openly admitted that it has been monitoring the conflict in Ukraine “very carefully” to learn from it and use the experience of Kiev, Beijing was allowed to opt for a military option to seize control of the island. However, Beijing has repeatedly said it prefers peaceful reunification, but does not rule out the use of force.
“I think the Chinese government needs to think or calculate how the US or other major countries will come to the aid of Taiwan or whether they will help Taiwan. If Taiwan has no support at all, I think that will be a green light for aggression.” Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told CNN on Sunday.
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